Transfer of Legal Jurisdiction of Lakshadweep

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Transfer of Legal Jurisdiction of Lakshadweep 

Recently the Lakshadweep Administration categorically denied that it was shifting its legal jurisdiction from the High Court of Kerala to the High Court of Karnataka.

Background:

  • The new administrator of Lakshadweep recently took several decisions for Lakshadweep, against which several cases were filed before the Kerala High Court. Since then, such a proposal is being brought by the administration.
  • These decisions by the Lakshadweep administrator mainly included revising the standard operating procedures for COVID-appropriate behavior, introduction of the “Goonda Act” and demolition of fishermen’s huts to widen the roads.

Procedure for Transfer of Jurisdiction of High Court:

  • It may be noted that the jurisdiction of a High Court can be transferred only by an Act passed by the Parliament.
  • Under Article 241 of the Constitution, ‘Parliament may, by law, constitute a High Court for any Union territory, or declare any Court in such Union territory to be a High Court for all or any of the purposes of this Constitution’.
  • Clause 4 of the same article states that, ‘Nothing in this article derogates from the power of parliament to extend or exclude the jurisdiction of a High Court for a State to, or from, any Union territory or part thereof.’
  • Presently Lakshadweep comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala High Court. Also, Malayalam is a language spoken and written in both Kerala and Lakshadweep.
  • Transferring the jurisdiction of the High Court will change the entire judicial system of Lakshadweep. This will break the language relationship.
  • Also, the Kerala High Court is only 400 km away from Lakshadweep, while the Karnataka High Court is more than 1,000 km away, and there is no direct connectivity.
  • This will put additional pressure on the exchequer, as all the cases currently pending will have to be re-tried.

Source – The Hindu

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